Tuesday, May 22, 2012


In this modern age, dressing up has become more fun and easy without the grandiose rituals of our foremothers. Women nowadays have jam-packed calendars which take them to different places, even in a span of only 24 hours. Gone are the days when females took only the persona of a housewife, breaking through the old perfection of her function in the society, guiding the next generation in her traditional / understated garments.

What I love about the woman of today is her ability to juggle different roles with different clothes. Balancing a modern lifestyle as a woman consists of making time for a family, managing a fulfilling career, and keeping up with friends. While modern women vary in lifestyle and personality, we are still made of a common DNA that molds us into sophistication and elegance.  Be it fabric or shoes, our wardrobe transcends our being from divine femininity into to a production number for all occasions.

This photo came out in StyleBible.PH.

Take Bianca Barretto-Uy, for instance. Wife, mother of three, career woman, and a breath of fresh air in every social gathering.

She is Bianca with a C – being born and christened as Christine Barretto. Akin to the chic nickname given to her by her dad, she lives and breathes fashion with much ease and refined taste. Whether on candid or shot on cue, her smile and style registers perfectly on camera, looking confident, charming, and classy. I consider her look as an essay of various style theories and applications, polished according to type and purpose. If she underwent any formal training in styling, I’m sure she would have gotten an A+ on her report card.

Bianca gives us a preface of her dress diary. “For a fashion show, I’d probably wear a sheer blouse tucked in a short pleated skirt and pumps. Cocktail dresses are, of course, for cocktail events, but I try to hype up the look with heeled sandals or statement pumps. A mullet dress and heeled sandals would be perfect for my kids’ recognition program, while a relaxing coffee or lunch date with friends would see me in a loose blouse, shorts and flat sandals. A movie date with my husband would call for a t-shirt, cardigan, jeans and ballet flats. My typical office wear is a shift dress paired with open-toed wedges. “              

Each pair serves a different purpose.
She stands out with her choices of fashion commodities that are comfortable, un-restraining, and effortlessly stunning. Her flexibility in fashion mirrors her versatility as a person, walking the path to success in various shoes that are sure to make Carrie Bradshaw proud.

“Shoes are all about utility and style. They take you to diverse places. Needless to say, fashion should also go with comfort.” Bianca wears different shoes for different roles ---- a social figure, mom, wife, friend, and career woman.

She has managed to get through life’s rocky roads with effortless grace, just as she happily married the word “me” with “them,” right from the moment she stepped in her bridal shoes and walked the aisle with Morris Uy some 7 years ago. While most pregnant women balloon their way to hibernation, this social figure surfaced the pages of glossies donned in the latest trends, graced three times to her honour.

What Bianca wears complement her daily agenda, which she rolls out from as early as 6.30 am. Her morning glory is stimulated with butterfly kisses from her wonderful brood, coupled with good vibes which she carries to work with. Her trusty ballerina flats and sleek sandals are her saving grace to survive the long hours of work at the Sales and Marketing office of Kar Asia, a family business where she keeps busy as head of department. Her shoe tale continues with a trip to a mall or two, as style counsel to unica hija Isha, and to several summer arts activities for her elder sons, Quentin and Zach. Bianca treasures family bonding over food, Ipad games, out of town trips, and other interactive activities which help develop her kids’ skills.

What's in her bag
The characters she plays in her life are also evident in the supplies she carries in her bag: Baby wipes, sanitizer, makeup essentials, cell phone, face tissue, house keys, and a rosary. Yes, she is also a Marian devotee. No wonder her beauty is timeless, skin always flawless.

Her age remains a mystery to those who don’t know she’s now a 33 year old mom of three. Her road to maturity is symptomatic of a Benjamin Button case, as she’s one who has never aged a day and whose personal style channels through the classic and the pop culture. Her visit to the dermatologist comes secondary in maintaining her youthful glow, as her au naturel flair is skin deep and prettified by positive thoughts. To her, good vibes are almost medicinal as a pain reliever, as beautifying as any cosmetics product, and as age defying as stem cell treatments.

Taken at the birthday of her
third child, Isha
The child like innocence on her face is relative to her slim body frame. She describes her figure as scrawny, which to most of us is already a gift. There is no hint of baby fat in her svelte shape, and no trace of sagging skin that comes with age.  Her fitness regimen is defined by a goal to gain weight, except post pregnancy wherein she ably and quickly shrinks back into her slimfit’s by taking pilates and belly dancing classes. She quips, “Do something which won’t bore you. Metaphorically speaking, exercise comes as an easy breeze if you move to the beat of your heart.”

Her versatility to fit and match small sizes and exceptional designs makes her the perfect choice as print model for home-grown and global brands. She unconsciously charades as a living mannequin in special events, and has always topped the best dressed list of every meticulous fashion police.  For evening affairs, she slips into a pair of pumps to elevate her mood, as she does the “crossover” for the cameras.

Her discreet chic approach to styling is as modest as her persona. She prefers not to parade any obvious fashion credentials nor to be defined by brands. To her, dress-me-up-fashions are not as relaxing and functional if they don’t build wardrobes, ending up as throwaway fads or as one-hit wonders.

“For me, brands are immaterial. As long as you feel good in it, fits you well, and it’s not beyond your budget, then go for it!
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
Page 15, A1 of INdulge Section, Edge Davao newspaper, Vol. 5 Issue 57, 23 May 2012


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